Foster Carers have a key role in supporting the children they look after. A major part of that will be supporting your child with their education. A good education is vital for looked after children – it is a stabilising factor in lives that are too often characterised by instability. A good education will give them more opportunities to do well in their lives. We know that looked after children do not do as well as their peers. It is vital that foster carers understand why this happens and what they can do to improve the chances of the children they are caring for doing well.
Please see the Young People section for links to websites and guidance to support specific key stages.
Your role as a parent
Your role as a parent is a significant factor in educational success. For children in care, the Rees Report, The Educational Progress of Looked After Children 2015, found that most children who performed well in education could identify relationships with people to whom they felt gratitude and didn't wish to let down.
Young people attribute their education progress to the characteristics, skills and commitment of individual teachers and carers. (Rees 2015)
For this reason, it's important that you play an active role in the education of the children in your care and build positive relationships with your child’s school, especially your child’s class teacher, key worker or learning mentor.
Ways you can support your child
- Attend meetings, parents' evenings and information events, to build positive relationships with staff at your child's school
- Share information that might impact on your child’s learning and behaviour with key staff
- Support home learning expectations. Find out what homework your child's expected to do when, and support your child to complete it
- Establish age appropriate bedtime routines
- Send them to school ready to learn each morning
- Help them to pack their school bag the night before and develop independence
- Make sure they eat breakfast and talk to them about what they'll be doing at school that day
- Get them to school on time and develop a habit of good attendance
- Take an interest in their school experiences
- Teach them study skills. Help them to identify what helps them to learn
- Encourage them to see the value of their learning and understand why they need the skills they're developing. Talk to them about their aspirations
- Familiarise yourself with the school behaviour policy and help your child to understand it
Helping with Personal Education Plans (PEPs)
- Ensure that you know the PEP dates
- Talk to your young person before the meeting and help them to express their views
- Raise any concerns during the meeting and offer as much support as you can